With all of this talk about the future, how about we indulge into the past? Over the years, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have won many games. But obviously, some are much larger victories than others. Some hold huge historical significance. Others were just games that will never be forgotten. So here are my picks for the top 5 bulldog wins.
#5: 2014 #2 Auburn (23) #3 Mississippi State (38)
This one is a bit more recent, but it’s still a very significant victory for the Dawgs. After knocking off several top 10 SEC schools, the Bulldogs found themselves at #3 in the country; one spot behind the Auburn Tigers, who they would meet in Starkville that week. With College GameDay in The Junction and a record setting 62,945 fans in attendance, the Bulldogs beat the Tigers will little to no problem, winning easily 38-23. While the win itself isn’t necessarily what makes it so significant, what it set in motion would forever alter the national perception of Mississippi State. The College Football Playoff committee was more than impressed by the Bulldogs domination against SEC foes. This resulted in the Dawgs being ranked #1 in the country, and made them the first ever top ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings show. This game will never be forgotten for playing a key part in the Bulldogs first ever #1 overall ranking in school history. But this win had nothing on it’s predecessors.
#4: 1910 Howard (0) Mississippi State (82)
Yes. You read that scoreline right. Obviously Howard was no big name, but to win by 82 points is ludicrous. The Maroons never let up on the Howard defense. Very little is known about the game, but what else needs to be said? It’s the largest win in school history, and will more that likely stay that way forever. You may be thinking, “Oh wow. That’s alot of touchdowns!”. Well guess what? This happened in a time when touchdowns counted for a point less than they do now. So it’s even crazier to think about how many. This game needs to never be forgotten, and hopefully it never will. This contest is known for being the biggest scoreline. But #3 will forever be remembered for being the biggest bowl win in school history.
#3: 1941 Orange Bowl: Georgetown (7) Mississippi State (14)
Who knew Mississippi State went to an Orange Bowl before 2014?! Most don’t seem to remember that there was a time when the Bulldogs were a force to be reckoned with. Though when a Mississippi State fan hears Orange Bowl they think of 2014, this should be the game they think about. The 1941 Bulldogs went a step further that their 2014 counterparts. The prestige of the Orange Bowl can never be overstated. The triumph added the schools name to an illustrious list of teams and programs to win it. Only a National Championship could trump this victory. It will likely stand the test of time as State’s greatest triumph during the 1940s. It’s not quite the biggest win in school history, but it is definitely in the running for the top spot. It has to take a backseat to a certain victory that happened just a mere 6 years earlier.
#2: 1935 Army (7) Mississippi State (13)
You may be asking if I have lost my mind. A win over Army at number 2? Well at the time, this was a huge deal. Army at the time was on the same level that Clemson is now. They were a constant threat to run for the national championship. Still not impressed? What if I told you they won this game at West Point. They traveled to a nationally respected school, and pulled out the upset. For a very long time, this was widely known as the biggest victory in program history. Some still consider it as the greatest. To go into West Point against a powerhouse Army team and come out with the victory is unbelievable. But all things considered, it wasn’t the biggest. At that time, Army hadn’t quite won it’s first national title or even had a Heisman winner yet. It was a powerhouse that hadn't quite got over the hump yet. So in the end, it wasn’t as massive of a victory as #1 was.
#1: 1980 MSU (6) #1 Alabama (3)
Was there any doubt? In case you’ve been living under a rock and have no clue why this was so big, let me put it to you like this. The contest was to be played in Jackson. The Bulldogs were unranked and highly disrespected to that point. The Crimson Tide? They were just the opposite. Coming off an undefeated National Championship season in 1979 and sporting a 28 game win streak, the Tide was ranked #1 in the nation and fully expected to repeat as national champion. The Bulldogs were lead by Emory Bellard, who was the creator of the famed wishbone offense at Texas. The Tide were lead by some guy who I’m sure you’ve never heard of. I think his name was Paul something. Bryant maybe? They called him Bear. All kidding aside, Bear Bryant at that time was still yet to show any signs of decline in his coaching ability. Alabama was feared more then than Nick Saban’s teams ever can be. This would surely be a blowout, right? Wrong! The Bulldog defense held tight. With 6 seconds left in the game, and the Bulldogs holding onto a 3 point lead, the Tide were 4 yards away from the end-zone. The ball was snapped and fumbled. The Bulldogs jumped on top of it and secured the most shocking upset in school history. The fans were delirious. State had stumped the Tide. The players were going berserk in the locker room when all of a sudden the metal doors swung open and in stepped two Alabama state highway patrolmen. Close behind was none other than the Bear himself. He pulled off his houndstooth hat as he always did. He looked around at the men he saw before him. “Congratulations fellows” he said. “The best team won.”. He then turned around and walked right back out. As soon as the doors shut again, the party continued. This win will likely never be topped. The Bulldogs changed the course of the college football season. They beat the unbeatable. For that, it will never be topped.
Thank you so much for taking this journey back into the past with me. As always, I hope you maybe learned something from my list. I strongly encourage you to give me feedback below in the comments.
Until next time, gcm